Nonprofit Executive Directors know the importance of an effective CRM (customer relation management) to increase donations, expand donors bases and communicate efficiently with their communities. While most nonprofit Executive Directors are familiar with major CRM software tools such as Salesforce, Marketo and Blackbaud, many nonprofit Executive Directors report that the most recognized platforms can create more headaches than solutions. There’s an alternative, though, and one that we know nonprofits will want to adopt: ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign is a relative newbie to the cloud CRM scene but it will be garnering much more attention in the months and years ahead for its simplicity and effectiveness. We’re going to take this opportunity to lay out the pros and cons (okay, mostly pros because we use it too) and show why nonprofit executive directors should consider adopting ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign utilizes an extremely modern user interface and paid close attention to creating an intuitive user experience, so much so that any noncomputer person can be up and running in minutes. Nonprofit Executive Directors have busy schedules and ActiveCampaign streamlines any task related to donor management and communications, unlike we have ever seen.
Forms and Emails
There’s a glut of email campaign options available online and numerous form plugins for WordPress. But none integrate the tools as seamlessly as ActiveCampaign. This CRM platform has a simple and easy form and email creator tool that allows for any level of customization and ties right in to email lists on the platform. It’s as easy as creating a form, cutting and pasting into your site and then watching your email lists grow as you send out campaigns.
Hearkening back to the fast and easy theme, ActiveCampaign has a sophisticated automation system built in that allows for user to trigger automated actions so nonprofit Executive Directors don’t have to respond to each and every inquiry. For example, an email can be automatically sent to a website user if they visit a specific page or they take a specific action such as donation. ActiveCampaign allows nonprofits to actively engage website visitors without having to actively do anything. Think Google Analytics but for CRM.
Nonprofit Executive Directors are starting to value data and analytics. The marketing insights nonprofits can learn about their website visitors and donors can have a dramatic growth effect, which is why analytics and data are no longer exclusively for the C-Suite and IT departments. ActiveCampaign’s reporting tools provide these valuable metrics but in an easily consumable and understand manner. Aside from seeing who open and clicked through email campaigns, nonprofit Executive Directors can also see on a map where the campaign recipients are located. As every nonprofit Executive Director knows, some campaigns fall flat while others resonate. ActiveCampaign’s A/B email campaign testing takes the guess work out of the equation.
While we’re not a fan of calling this feature ‘Deals,’ we are a fan of the feature. ‘Deals’ are essentially donor or sales funnels and can track the donation process from website entry to processing. Every nonprofit website seeking to grow online donations or sell items should have very defined funnels. These funnels move the potential donor from a maybe to punching in their credit card and can provide essential revenue and recurring revenue for nonprofits. In the past, donor funnels had to be manually constructed with tracking codes so every step was logged. Not anymore. ActiveCampaign provides the tracking so you can focus on messaging.
The only con is that many of the valuable features are only available with a paid subscription and, frankly, that caveat isn’t outlined well on the ActiveCampaign website. You heard it here, though. To truly leverage the CRM platform, a nonprofit will have to purchase a subscription. On a positive note, ActiveCampaign is scalable, meaning as your contact lists grow (and your online donations), a return on investment is easily obtainable.
Clearly, we’re a fan of ActiveCampaign after having used countless CRM platforms only to find that those platforms fell short of our and our nonprofit clients’ needs. Even worse, we spent so much time creating and managing our CRM that we should have gone back to Excel. (Okay, that’s a stretch.)
ActiveCampaign is finally a platform that is easy and advances strategic objectives.